Jeff Stelling has been confirmed as guest of honour at the 2016 Hartlepool Business Forum annual awards night.
The Hartlepool-born journalist is now one of the most familiar faces on TV thanks to his presenting role with Sky Sports, and never fails to miss an opportunity to promote his love for the town and its football team.
The ceremony will take place at the Borough Hall, on the Headland, on Thursday, May 12 next year, and awards will be up for grabs in 11 categories.
Hartlepool Business Forum co-ordinator Andy Steel said: “We are delighted that Jeff has been able to fit us into his busy diary.
“He is such a familiar face, and he is constantly flying the flag for Hartlepool. He is a tremendous ambassador, and is a perfect endorsement of everything that these awards stand for.
“We’re also delighted that our MP Iain Wright will also be in attendance, is a very keen supporter of the awards and has been for some time.”
Around 300 guests are expected to be in attendance for the ceremony, which saw Deepdale Solutions land the main award this year.
Andy added: “The event is always a popular event, and it is a real opportunity for the business community in Hartlepool to gather together and celebrate all of the hard work that is done throughout the year.
“It is fantastic to see so many businesses managing to survive and thrive in the harshest economic climate we have known for some time.
“We always have a very high standard of entry in all of the categories, and we don’t expect anything different this time around.”
Prizes will be up for grabs in the Service Sector, Manufacturer of the Year, Community, Business Leader of the Year and Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality.
There are also awards for Creative Industries, Young Entrepreneur, Most Promising New Business, Investment in Training and Best Small Business, as well as the Overall Business of the Year honour.